Beautiful Roses

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Species RosesOld Garden RosesModern Roses

Roses are grown mainly for the fragrance and beauty of their flowers.  They captivate our attention and are loved and grown as no other flower.  They have been used for perfumes and fragrant oils, herbal medicines, and food decoration; and they appear and are referenced in paintings, fabrics, architecture, and literature.  Fresh-picked roses are flowers of romance; and when dried and preserved, roses will last a long time.

Cultivated in China and the Middle East since early times, roses come in a wide variety of colors, shapes, and sizes.  Since Asian species were introduced into Europe, roses have been bred and crossed for beauty and hardiness to become "the queen of flowers."

There are over 100 species in the rose (Rosaceae) family, which have produced thousands of varieties.  Roses are classified into three basic categories:  species roses, old garden roses, and modern roses.

white species rose old garden tea roses modern hybrid rose

Roses are used in the landscape as foundation plantings, on trellises for privacy, as hedges or background plants, and for container plants.  When considering where to plant roses, keep in mind that roses need at least six hours of full sun each day.  Don't plant roses where they will be exposed to strong winds.  Roses require slightly acid, well-drained soil.  Large trees and shrubs with extensive roots should not be too close to the roses, because they will compete with them for nutrients and water.  Some rose plant varieties grow quite large, so enough space should be allowed for the plants to mature.

When choosing roses, consider your climate as well as the roses' disease resistance, fragrance, color, and maintenance requirements.  Roses are available as bare-root or container plants, and they are often sold through catalogs.  Bare root roses must be planted in early spring as soon as they arrive.  Potted roses are already established when purchased and can stay in their pots awhile before planting.  Because potted roses are mostly sold locally, choices may be more limited.

A Yellow Rose Gently Sways in the Breeze

After planting roses, mulch the plants and keep them watered, but don't allow the roots to stand in water.  Regularly fertilize the plants, spray them if insects or diseases attack them, and prune out damaged wood and leaves when necessary.  Pruning will also help to shape the rose into an attractive plant with beautiful blooms.

Finally, enjoy the blooms in your garden, or cut some roses, put them in a vase, and bring them indoors.  Their fragrance and beauty will enhance any decor.

yellow roses formal rose garden arches pink tree rose

Beautiful Rose Links

  • The World Federation of Rose Societies is an association of the national Rose Societies of 41 countries.  Find information about roses around the world.
  • The Heritage Rose Foundation is an organization established to preserve old heritage roses.  This nonprofit organization was established in 1986.
  • The American Rose Society website discusses how to choose, grow, and prune roses, as well as information about rose shows.
  • Rose Magazine has information about roses, along with advice on how to grow them.  Forums about roses as well as rose photos, videos, artwork, and gift items are included on the website.
  • The International Rose Test Garden is located in Portland, Oregon.  It is the oldest continuously-operated public test garden for roses in the USA.
  • The White House Rose Garden is a famous locale where important events have taken place.  This page features photos of the Rose Garden as it has appeared down throughout the years.
  • The Roses section of the NC State University Cooperative Extension's website features extensive specifications and photos about climbing roses, groundcover roses, miniature roses, and shrub roses.  Visitors can browse by scientific name or common name.
  • The University of Illinois Extension's Rose Garden website provides all kinds of information for the rose grower.  Topics include the history of roses, plus rose selection, planting, and pruning tips.

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Beautiful Roses - Rosaceae Family Classifications